Garuda Soars to New Heights with $62M Investment in Cutting-Edge Stem Cell Therapies

Garuda Therapeutics is revolutionizing the medical field with their groundbreaking cell therapy technology. The company recently secured a $62 million Series B round to further develop their revolutionary off-the-shelf, self-renewing blood stem cell technology that has the potential to treat over 120 different diseases. With this technology, the world could soon be a much healthier place.

At Cambridge-based company, the challenge of traditional stem cell therapy is being met head-on. With innovative approaches, the company is setting out to revolutionize the field and transform the future of stem cell therapy.

Garuda’s groundbreaking hematopoietic stem cells could revolutionize the industry, providing an off-the-shelf solution that leads to faster, more effective treatments and greater patient accessibility. Unlike traditional methods of using a patient’s own depleted cells or seeking out a biological donor match, Garuda’s solution is both cost and time efficient, making treatments more accessible than ever before.

Since its launch 15 months ago, the biotech has come a long way. With an initial investment of $72 million, the company has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat over 70 diseases with its groundbreaking cellular therapy. But that’s not all – the team has identified an additional 50 targets that could be addressed with stem cell treatment. It’s an exciting time for the biotech and the possibilities seem endless.

Garuda pinpointed its ultimate goal and worked backward from there to pick its first targets, as Dhvanit Shah, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO, explained to BioSpace. With an abundance of potential targets, the company had to narrow it down to the most essential ones.

The Series B funds will be injected into two ambitious initiatives, set to launch in 2024 – transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (TDBT) in Europe and bone marrow failure syndrome across Europe, South America and North America. Both initiatives promise to revolutionize the clinic, offering a renewed hope to those affected by these conditions.

In August 2022, bluebird bio’s groundbreaking gene therapy for beta-thalassemia, Zynteglo, was approved by the European Union. Unfortunately, this revolutionary treatment has proven to be cost-prohibitive, leading bluebird bio to shut down their European operations due to the fact that “payers have not yet evolved their approach to gene therapy.” This troubling news was reported in the company’s Q2, 2021 financial update.

Zynteglo’s treatment promises to be revolutionary, but it comes with a hefty price tag of 1.58 million euro (about $1.8 million) due to its bespoke nature. Each patient’s bone marrow cells are custom-modified prior to reinfusion, making the process more expensive and lengthy than off-the-shelf cell therapies. Nonetheless, the promise of this groundbreaking treatment is too great for many to ignore.

The company is set to utilize the cash infusion to further advance its HLA-matched pluripotent stem cells technology – a breakthrough in the medical field that allows cells to self-renew and differentiate into any of the three primary cell groups of the human body. This cutting-edge progress can potentially revolutionize the way we treat diseases and combat aging.

Garuda’s approach is revolutionizing the production of products, making it possible to create them at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke approach – making it accessible to people all around the world. According to Shah, this is a game-changer for the global population.

For patients in racial minority groups, this advance could be a game-changer. According to a 2019 Harvard study, Black patients on the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be the Match” registry have a mere 23% chance of finding a donor, compared to the 77% chance of a white American. With this new breakthrough, the odds of finding a match could be greatly improved.

Garuda’s latest fundraising round was a success, with Northpond Ventures, OrbiMed, Cormorant and Aisling Capital, as well as other top investors and individuals, all investing in the company.

Despite the uncertain economic climate, biopharma companies are still finding ways to secure funds for their projects. According to the CBRE survey, close to 60% of investors intend to decrease their investments in 2023 due to rising rates and the potential of a recession. Nevertheless, these companies are still able to attract investors while many remain hesitant to open their checkbooks.

On February 3rd, Structure Therapeutics made headlines by launching an impressive $161 million IPO, while Patient Square Capital celebrated the closure of their inaugural life sciences fund, which raised a whopping $3.9 billion. These two events mark a significant milestone in the life sciences industry, showing the strong potential of the sector.

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